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Watching Your Child Miss Out on Tennis Opportunities

Updated: 5 days ago

As a tennis parent of a child who is above average at tennis, it can be challenging to watch them miss out on opportunities such as being picked for elite squads and invitational tournaments and so on. Many families go through similar experiences, and it can be emotionally challenging for them. The emotions that tennis players may experience when they believe they are good enough but miss out on opportunities can force them out of the game. Let's briefly explore mindset and mental health.

Young male tennis player hits a backhand in a free NSW tennis tournament
Taking every tennis opportunity on offer

Feelings of Disappointment and Frustration

When a player believes they are good enough for an elite squad or an invitational tournament and misses out on the opportunity, they may feel disappointed and frustrated. These emotions can be challenging to deal with, and they may lead to a loss of motivation to continue playing tennis. According to a study by Polman et al. (2010), athletes who experience negative emotions, such as disappointment and frustration, are more likely to experience a decrease in motivation and may be more likely to give up on their goals.

Comparison with Others

Players who feel that they are good enough but miss out on opportunities may compare themselves to others who were selected. This comparison can lead to feelings of envy and low self-esteem. According to a study by Serpa et al. (2011), social comparison can lead to negative affective responses such as envy, frustration, and anger, which can negatively impact performance and motivation.


When players miss out on opportunities, they may start to doubt their abilities and question their worth as a tennis player. This self-doubt can lead to a lack of confidence, anxiety, and stress, which can negatively affect performance. According to a study by Baumeister et al. (2006), self-doubt can lead to self-defeating behaviours and negatively impact performance.

Overcoming Negative Emotions

It is essential to recognise and understand the negative emotions that players may experience when they miss out on opportunities. However, it is equally important to learn how to overcome these emotions and move forward. According to a study by Jowett and Cockerill (2003), athletes who adopt a positive mindset and learn to regulate their emotions are more likely to succeed in sports.

One way to overcome negative emotions is to focus on the things that you can control, such as your effort and attitude. Another way is to set realistic goals and work towards achieving them. Additionally, players can seek the help of a sports psychologist or a coach to learn strategies to manage their emotions and improve their mental health.

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